Ice Cube and Trump’s marriage of convenience
If the recent rapprochement between erstwhile political foes US showbiz icon Ice Cube and President Donald Trump is anything to go by, it is true then that in politics there are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends, only permanent interests.
The story goes that Cube was searching for political buy-in from both Trump and Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden for his 22-pager Contract With Black Americans (CWBA), a document which he avers “strikes at the heart of racism and presents a blueprint to achieve racial economic justice.”
The CWBA covers a plethora of perennial grievances including reforms in the judiciary, police, entertainment industry, and restitution.
After approaching both teams, Cube says only Trump stepped forward, in contrast to Biden’s team lukewarm reception.
Amid widespread criticism, Cube and Trump are now working together.
Trump said CWBA actually added value to his own Platinum Plan, a concise two-page promise to “increase access to capital” in Black communities by almost Sh54 trillion (US$500 billion) in his second term.
Cube’s partnership with Trump symbolises the bleak prospects facing African Americans. In the 2016 elections, Cube could not have touched Trump with a ten-foot pole.
For Trump, there could never have been a better time to latch on an opportunity.
Cornered on all fronts, it was a last ditch effort to woo a constituent that gave him a paltry eight per cent of their vote in the last elections, compared to 89 per cent for his Democratic Party rival Hillary Clinton.
Moreover, when dealing with Trump, the maxim “the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray” rings true.
It is an omnipresent reality of what to expect from his promises and deals, with many of his first term pre-election pledges now a wasteland.
For African Americans in historically racially charged cities like Chicago, the anachronistic remark evokes both bitter and sad memories of their dark past, remnants of which are still present today.
In a WQAD News 8 article titled “Segregation among issues Chicago faces 100 years after riots” published on July 24, 2019 by Associated Press journalist Noreen Nasir, “the terror of those days still reverberates in a city that continues to grapple with segregation, housing discrimination, and deep tension between residents and police.”
In another gaffe by a Republican Party bigwig, Senator David Perdue on Friday deliberately mispronounced Democratic vice presidential nominee’s name, Kamala Harris, during Trump’s Georgia rally.
Perdue referred to Harris as “KAH’-mah-lah? Kah-MAH’-lah? Kamala-mala-mala? I don’t know. Whatever,” to the amusement of the audience.
Chairwoman of the Democrats in Georgia, Nikema Williams, must have spoken for the Party in her rejoinder, saying “Senator Perdue’s intentionally disrespectful mispronunciation of Senator Harris’s name is a bigoted and racist tactic straight from President Trump’s handbook.”
Well, these blunders do not represent the new spirit Trump is trying to espouse, amid his own racially tinged utterances in the past.
It betrays the inherent opposition against the empowerment of Blacks, and the fact that Trump and the GOP membership are not reading from the same page on his unlikely partnership with Cube.
Moreover, the voices of other black leaders in the corporate, religious and even showbiz sectors are conspicuously silent.
For African Americans, it is a trap; damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Experts do not see any operationalisation of the deal even if Trump wins the presidency.
The long haul for African Americans has just hit another dead end. — The writer is a communications expert and public policy analyst — [email protected]